FAVORITE FIGURES OF THE GERMAN: A Found Poem

 

The “German” is the most fashionable
dance in society.  It is a part
of the business of Life.

Some of the figures border on the romp.
One of these is called LaCorde.
This is a figure not to be commended.
Still less is the figure called Les Masques.

Les Bouquets brings in the favors.
A number of small bouquets and boutonnieres
are placed upon a table.
Other favors are frequently substituted:
rosettes, miniature flags, artificial
butterflies, badges, sashes, bonbons,
little bells, scarf-pins, bangles, fans,
caps, imitation antique coins,
breastpins, lace pins, lockets, shawls,
scarfs, vases, picture frames,
writing-desks and chairs.

No lady can refuse to dance.
So long as she remains
within the charmed circle

she must dance
with everyone in it.

~Found in Manners and Social Usages,
by Mrs. John Sherwood (author of “A Transplanted Rose”)
1884, revised in 1897

 

I can’t help but imagine a lady dancing with a writing desk. . . .

NO ONE LOOKS RIDICULOUS DANCING A QUADRILLE: a found poem

A sort of galop is allowed
in the rapid figures.

The young, old, stout, thin, lazy, active,
maimed or single, without loss of caste,

can dance a quadrille.  It makes
a break in a tete-a-tete conversation,

and enables a gentleman to be polite
to a lady who may not be a good dancer

for waltz or polka.  A defiant manner
assumed by a bashful man is out

of place, although there are certain
figures which make a man feel

rather defiant.  One of these
is where he is obliged as cavalier seul

to advance to three ladies
who frequently laugh at him.
 

~found in Manners and Social Usages,
by Mrs. John Sherwood (author of “A Transplanted Rose”)
1884, revised in 1897